VA guidelines

VA Appraisal Rules: What Kind of Electrical Systems Are Acceptable?

July 26, 2012

VA Appraisal Rules: What Kind of Electrical Systems Are Acceptable?

When a VA fee appraiser reviews property as part of the appraisal process, he or she is required to list items that require correction or other action to bring the property in compliance with VA minimum property requirements.

For some sellers and VA loan applicants, there may be concerns that an older home’s electrical system might not live up to VA requirements–but what are those requirements and how can a VA loan applicant (or seller) anticipate whether or not the electrical system will pass muster?

The key to this is found on the VA official site, on the Frequently Asked Questions page for appraisals. Under the Electrical┬ásection, you’ll learn the following:

“VA requires that electrical systems be safe, adequate and acceptable to the local authority. The local authority, usually the building department, is responsible for enactment and enforcement of electrical codes. If a fused electrical system is acceptable to the local authority it is acceptable to VA.”

The phrase, “acceptable to the local authority” is the most important part of that information–local codes and ordinances determine the electrical system’s acceptability to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA does not list specific requirements for electrical systems; borrowers and sellers must check with the local code.

If you don’t know where to begin when it’s time to check those local ordinances, you have several options. One is to check your local phone listings for a reference to the local building code compliance officials, another would be to call a local building contractor and ask where you can look up and review building codes. You can also contact the nearest VA Regional Loan Center for help in your specific circumstances.

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